As for the self-soothing...

We decided to let DD do the cry-it-out method at around 4-5 months, in an attempt to help her sleep through the night. It was right about the time where she would cry in the night, we'd come to her, and find that what she wanted was to play, so we were trying to teach her that bedtime was for sleeping.

DD would scream, someone would come in, check to see that she's not injured/hungry/cold/wet/etc in a very no-nonsense way, then give her a kiss and say good night again. She'd continue screaming, and eventually we'd pop in for the same drill... nothing wrong, okay, good night then. And if there was an issue, then again we'd address the issue in a very no-nonsense way... no playing or chatting, just resolve the situation and put her back to bed. The message was twofold: we hear you, and we'll take care of you, but now is not the time to play.

This made for a couple of weeks' worth of VERY long nights, but the peace it won for us afterwards was worth every minute and more. It transformed the entire household. Everyone was better rested, felt more positive, and enjoyed each other more.